Ruminating on Therapy

I have this persistent, permanent underlying bad feeling… I’ve had it my entire life, and no matter what I do, I can’t get it to go away… not for very long anyway. It always returns.

The only way I can describe it is a crave, a need, to fill a void that exists in my core. it’s an empty feeling, a missing piece, a lack of some thing very important. These days it presents as an urge to put something in my mouth. Something nice, that will make me feel good. It’s often been the way, either consuming something intoxicating like alcohol or drugs, to relieve the feeling. Then there was the starving, followed by the binging and purging, in an attempt to gain power and control over it. Then there was the cutting, where I would try to drain it away.

I’m in therapy, and I can’t identify why or what this is. Is it an underdeveloped ego? Low self esteem? Anxiety? There is a huge, gaping hole inside me where something big should be. But I don’t know what! How can I fix what I don’t know?

It feels like I am lost, alone, lonely, left out, unheard, unnoticed, ignored, unimportant, bored, stuck, frustrated, angry, paralysed, muted, afraid, laughable, weak, pathetic, not taken seriously, disrespected, powerless, out of control, upset, irritated, not trusted, judged, put down, taken advantage of, used, abused, offended, tired, hopeless, unsure, uncertain, unstable, disliked, overreactive, sensitive, delicate, fragile… bad. In general. All the negative feelings and emotions you can think of.

I drink daily, to ‘take the edge off’. “Take the edge off what?” My therapist asked… a question that plagues me… what’s wrong with me? And how do I fix it?

I can’t go on using maladaptive coping mechanisms to get short-term relief from this feeling. I can’t continue to attempt to fill the void with alcohol. I need to figure this shit out and address the issue.

New job – week one!

I have had a GREAT first week at my new job as a first time manager. Everyone in the company have been so welcoming and friendly! I only got my devises (laptop, phone etc.) on Thursday afternoon, so most of the week was meetings with various departments and shadowing. Thankfully now I can get in with some real work!

I seem to have made a good impression, I’ve got loads of new, fresh ideas, and people are excited to hear them. I’ve even been said to be thinking outside the box! I’ll be meeting with the CEO next week, which I’m really looking forward to. I want to pick her brain about the organisation.

I’ve spent tonight ordering office-y things for my desk. I’ve never had my own desk before! It’s great! The team of two I’m managing seem pretty cool. One man one woman. Both a bit younger than me. They came into the project internally, so already know everyone and are familiar with the values of the charity. I’m going to deliver training on being a job coach and employability skills as they are both quite new to the employment department.

There is not much to report apart from how ecstatically happy I am right now! The early starts have been a bit tough. It’s 35 hours a week, 8:30am – 4:00pm. But the early start means an early finish!!! One of the days I arrived home at 4:50pm. Not even five! The evenings seem a lot longer which is nice. Just… absolutely loving life right now!

Covid Christmas

As you may have guessed from the title, I had covid this Christmas (I guess it’s ‘last’ Christmas now)… yep, the bloody virus that has plagued the world for the last few years finally caught up with me. And it meant I couldn’t spend Christmas Day with my family, which sucked, big time! Me and Dom were isolating, so he couldn’t go and stop with his family either. We made the best of a bad situation though. Neither of us were too ill on the big day, I’d actually started to test negative, but with Dom being positive we continued to isolate until the day after Boxing Day when we had both been negative for two days running.

My lovely Mom helped us out over the isolation period, did us a grocery shop, she even cooked and delivered us a full blown Christmas dinner on the day!!! I got to wave at her from the gate. It was so sweet of her, it made me happy-sad, (a concept that I’ve come up with to explain my conflicting emotions).

Anywho, Dom and I practically drank our way through the 10 (or more) day illness. I lost my sense of smell and taste at one stage, but thankfully it came back by Christmas Eve. Losing smell and taste is devastating! Especially during the holiday period where we are all indulging in deliciousness!

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve. I spent most of it doing e-learning for work… that’s right, I logged on to complete ruddy e-learning. 31st December was the deadline and I had left a LOT of it to the very last minute. I started at about midday and didn’t finish until about 10:30pm. What a way to start the new year! -trying desperately to finish off all the crap you always put off, and tie up loose ends.

Just before the strike of twelve I called my Mom and then joined Dom in a Zoom call to his mates. We got drunk and slept late on New Year’s Day, as is the done thing (if you don’t have children).

I’m feeling pretty positive about the new year, I will continue to progress, in all areas of life. Slow as I am – I am getting better…

Can’t… concentrate!..

I have just under a week and a half until I break up for Christmas. Soooo much paperwork to get done, it is unbelievable. But can I find my focus?… of course not!! ADHD is owning me at the moment! I can hardly do anything!!! I haven’t even done any Christmas shopping yet! Time is ticking!!

You can probably feel my frustration with all the exclamation marks. So I’ve taken myself to the pub, mainly to have as word with myself on my blog to pull it together, have a pint and buy some gifts online and pray they arrive before the big day.

To be honest, the pub is soothing, the crappy Christmas tunes, a beer in arms reach and the fires going. Makes a change from the house. Christmas is not ruined yet! If only I could work in the pub in the day time lol.

1. Start a fight 2. Regret it later

This weekend (just gone) was the annual Xmas meet up with me and my cousins. We’re all of a similar age and are quite a close knit bunch of friends more than anything. All of our partners were invited so there was quite a few of us, we planned to meet in town and go Curling at a novelty games arena/bar type place. I stressed out trying to get there on time (as I’m renowned for being late and didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of making their remarks as usual), so me and Dom got a taxi. The taxi dropped us a few streets away due to roadworks, so there was a narrow path for us to go down to get to the venue…

We politely made our way around other pedestrians on the same path saying ‘sorry’, ‘excuse me’, ‘we’re running late’, etc. When eventually near our turning we cross a couple (man and woman) with a pram each, walking as slow as humanly possible. So, we farted around the woman and was trying to over take the man when the woman piped up and said ‘watch out love, there’s someone up your arse!’ Which I thought was a bit OTT, but ignored it, he looked around snd I said sorry as we passed him (and the pram). Then he makes some obscene comment like ‘For fuck’s sake!’.. despite me being polite. I looked back over my shoulder to give him eyes, and Dom told him where to go.

THEN! The woman started shouting her mouth off at us. So I stopped walking away. I turned around and shouted back at her. To my absolute fucking surprise- she completely abandoned he own baby in a pram – started walking towards me to square up. At this point she has no fucking idea what she’s got her self into (and in a completely different way, neither do I). Me being me will not submit or cower away. So I storm right up to her face shouting as I do -harnessing the combine disorders of BPD snd ADHD- and square right back up to her. Tensions were high. Before I knew it I was throwing punches and Dom was dragging me off. Oh yeah, I hadn’t mentioned this was in broad daylight at 3:30 in the afternoon. The bloke left his pram also, in order to drag me and this bitch apart – so both their babies were left in pram son the street unattended… very fucking responsible… I continued to shout abuse such as ‘you should never procreate!’.

Dom was so pissed off at me. He hardly spoke to me for the next 24 hours. Even in front of my family he kept his distance from me. I’ve been stable for literally years. I’m bound to have slip ups. I don’t think he realises how hard I find it to control myself.

Love hurts

Dom and I argued on the weekend. We’d been out Saturday night, had a few drinks and actually a really nice time together, however when we got home he noticed I hadn’t done the washing up before we left. He was furious. It was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. He broke up with me over it. He said the words to end our relationship. 4 whole years, finished. Just like that. Over something as menial as the washing up.

We kind-of got over it and slept in the same bed afterwards, it was (but it wasn’t) all forgotten about the next morning. The argument lingered over us, although we both chose not to acknowledge it. It lasted for days, longer than the hangover from the alcohol consumed that night. Neither of us could focus at work, last night I couldn’t even sleep. I was ruminating on it all. Questioning if he actually loves me at all, or whether he just says the words ‘Love you’ automatically these days. I then questioned if he has ever loved me, or if he was/is just settling for less than he’s capable of getting from a partner. We had a pretty turbulent relationship from the get go, partly due to my BPD reactions to being in a romantic relationship, and partly due to both our mental health conditions to be honest, that and the stress/pressure of his academic studies… but we made it work, with a lot of hard work and patients – we manage.

Last night while I was lay in bed staring into the dark, questioning all things surrounding me and Dom, I found I started to not only question if he loves me – but if I love him… Questions like: am I just automatically saying the words these days? Did I ever love him? Or was I rebounding from the previous relationship I was in? Did I latch on to Dom through the fear of being alone and single in my early thirties? I then started to question how he makes me feel. Do I feel like an equal? Do I feel respected? The answer… really, is no. I feel like he is better than me… and I feel like he knows it. I even feel sometimes (like that night) he shows it.

Then I started to ask myself if I’m the one that deserves better? Someone who would show me more respect and better understanding… after the way he sometimes speaks to me.

Today is Wednesday and this morning I addressed the elephant in the room – the argument we had on Saturday night… The argument in which he broke up with me, over the washing up… He remembered it all, and admitted that he took it too far. He apologised, as did I. Him for making me sad and me for making him mad.

The way he talks to me when he snaps is not okay. It’s cruel, hurtful, disrespectful, spiteful, and demeaning. He’s never done it sober. But alcohol is a catalyst to feelings. I think he is under a lot of pressure with his studies right now and it’s forcing him to lash out, act out of character. Should I be worried? Think less about myself and my reactions to this behaviour and more about him? And the reason this all happened? He is clearly under a lot of stress. I just don’t know how to help or what to do about it.

Getting back on track

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend I was begging for Dom to give me a chance to prove myself worthy of staying with. I’ve spent the week making changes and trying more, and my actions and apologies have payed off. I’m serious about being a better person, for Dom and myself. Yesterday I even liked myself a bit more. I really had let everything go and pretty much given up without realising it. Now I’m awake and aware and feeling alive again.

I love you Dominic Russ.

Please, don’t leave me…

Over the weekend Dom nearly broke up with me… to be honest……… I don’t blame him.

There is so much I’m doing wrong: I don’t pull my weight around chores and house work, I never cook, barely ever wash up – don’t even know how to use the new washing machine, I drink alcohol at every given opportunity (to excess), I act without thinking about the consequences, I’m selfish, I don’t think about other people, I’m inconsiderate, I’m entitled and expect everything to be done for me and I rely entirely on other people to do everything. I am basically a dependant child, I never take responsibility for my actions, or admit to being wrong. I find it near impossible to apologise in a meaningful way, and worst of all I never change! I blame my mental illnesses for the way I act and react or don’t act, but there is more to it. I got lazy. I lost my drive, my will power… my determination. I lost myself. Relationships are a partnership, they take work. I’ve slacked off and jeopardised everything. I nearly lost Dom for fuck’s sake! The love of my life. All because I stopped trying, at life. I stopped putting effort in and became completely self absorbed. He has the patients of a fucking saint to put up with me being this horrible, and for so long! How he’s stayed with me though my shit I really don’t know.

I apologised for real today. I can see it all now. I took a long hard look at myself over the weekend, and I didn’t like what I saw. I feel like I have woken up for the first time in literally years. He’s right, it’s repeated behaviour. Why would he want to continue a life together being my mother, my carer, my fucking slave for God’s sake. It would not be fair.

The weekend was an eye opener. A wake up call. I know this is not who I am. I CAN change, for the better. I know I can. It’s going to take more than therapy, it’s going to have to be driven from within me.

I said “I’m nothing without him” and that’s got to change too. I need to be a someone, I need to have self respect, stand on my own two feet. We can lean on each other for support in times of need, but the poor guy has been carrying me!

Well no more. Today was a new day. A fresh start. I’ve started to make changes already. It helps that I can see clearly now. I think I definitely have an alcohol problem. I would even say… at this point I admit to being a functioning alcoholic. I haven’t touched a drop for two days now. I’m not blaming the alcohol, but it is a catalyst to a downward spiral.

I need to be alert to my behaviour, pay attention to other people, let myself feel instead of numbing out or getting bind drunk. I will change. I’m certain of it. Even if I need to re-read this post everyday for the next five years. I can’t go on mistreating Dom, and the people I love.

BPD + Me = Forever Alone?

When lockdown first happened I reached out to loads of people who I’d not spoken to in years. I felt more forced into isolation than ever before, and I’m quite a social person naturally, I just can’t keep hold of friends for some reason..? All of a sudden I was connected again! I felt revitalised, like I suddenly had more friends than I thought! They were all just a bit dusty on a shelf hidden away in the back of my brain somewhere. We had conversations over the phone, WhatsApp groups, and meet ups over Zoom (which seemed to be the new Skype). Lockdown was a bit of an excuse to do these things. Distance wasn’t a problem OR an excuse for anyone anymore because you could be bloody neighbours and still not be allowed to see each other face to face in real life. It was a weird time, filled with boredom, loneliness and fear, but also, hope, gratitude and strong emotional bonds.

Fast forward to lockdown lifting; The incredibly, idiotically named “Freedom Day”, where everyone was… (is..?) still scared about COVID killing people, but it’s not enough to keep us apart anymore… all so it may seem.

Personally, I feel lonely again. I’m seeing wAy more people face to face now, at my new job etc. than I have done for a very long time, but I’ve gone out of my way to make sure I continue to text and ‘check in’ on those people who I reconnected with at the start of lockdown. However, I’m not getting much in return… the conversations run dry, I get short answers, or no answers at all! I know people have their busy lives back, but so do I..? – I’m still making the effort… Friendship is supposed to be a two way thing. Where are the people texting and ‘checking in’ on me? Where are my texts out of the blue?

I swear, I scroll through my phone book these days and there are so few I would actually call a friend I can’t tell if it’s sad or scary.. maybe both…

I had a conversation about this with Dom not long ago. He notices when I get down and always asks about what is making me sad. when the answer is that I’m lonely and I don’t have any friends, it can get a bit awkward. Dom likes to be a problem solver and resolve my sadness with advice, but for this it’s tough… you can’t just magic up friends. You have to build on relationships with chosen people over a long time… not only is there the ‘growth period’ that is a blocker to having instant friends, but there is the question of where the hell do you find them, if you’re not at school, college or Uni..? those were my chances to build relationships that would last me through my boring adult/‘more mature’ years. But no, BPD prevented me from ever having healthy relationships with anyone. Thanks BPD… Then, there were the ones (mainly from Uni) that I did want to keep as forever friends… but I didn’t maintain it he relationships properly when I moved back to Birmingham… “Out of sight, out of mind”, thanks ADHD… so I feel like those relationships are now beyond repair, and I’ll never have that tight bond we once had ever again… Fuck.

I’ve even neglected my relationship with my brother… who for most of my life has been my best friend in the whole world. We have a closeness due to our family situation that not many people would be able to comprehend. Our family are the functioning fucked up, but however negative that sounds… there is SO much love for each other. Me, my Mom, my brother and my Dad.

Now of course I have Dom, the love of my life. I know this because he balances me out whist at the same time sticks by me and supports me through thick and thin. He has the patients of a saint, not many people would or could put up with my multitude of flaws (be that due to the personality disorder or various other factors). Dom saw something in me that was worth more than anything I could see in myself, he has spent the last four years trying to show me and to convince me to believe in myself, which I must admit is sinking in. He saw a future, he saw potential, he saw the ‘me’ beneath my collection of diagnoses and layers of medication. However dreamy snd romantic sounding this is it’s not been easy – Don made very clear from the start of our relationship that he wouldn’t be my carer, that I have to be able to take care of myself and prove that I can be independent… Which, I worked at, and eventually did. I feel like I’m still proving it, every day, but not to him, to myself. Now I want to succeed, I want to be stable and happy and one day raise a family with Dom. He gave me something to fight for. He was and always will be the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I love you Dominic Russ.

Talking about the future like this has made me realise, there are a small handful of people who I still want to be around with me on this journey. People I feel are drifting away. My brother being the main one. I have a few relationships that I need to focus on fixing, then I can think about new friends (if I need them). I’m nearly 33, where do you get new friends at this age anyway?

Those people I love, you know who you are (yet I very much doubt you know of the existence of this blog). I’m coming for you, I’ve not given up.

Cry baby at weddings…

A few weeks ago I was a bridesmaid at my cousin Rosie’s wedding. It was forecast to rain and was set to be an outdoorsy summer affair, but thankfully the weather held out all day and the celebrations were only dampened by my many tears during the ceremony! I am so strange when it comes to weddings of people close to me (and I guess even of those not so close to me – as I nearly cried at Dom’s friend’s wedding years ago), I just get really overcome with emotion. It’s confusing, I think it’s really lovely and cute and for some reason that brings me to tears… Yet, I play the clown in gatherings at funerals… in a desperate attempt to cheer people up…

Anyway, Rosie looked stunning, her and the groom looked like Britain’s next top models! Such a handsome couple. Dom and I unfortunately were not warned in time to congregate in the marquee for the speeches, so we missed a few minutes of the father of the bride speech talking to the woman selling craft ale round the corner, when we realised we had to be somewhere, we had to sneak in and found some seats that were quite far away. At the end of the groom’s speech he announced that the day previous they had discovered that Rosie is in fact pregnant with their first child!

I am so happy for them. They’ve been together for 10 years, and they are the perfect match. They will both make amazing parents.

There kind of is nothing I want more in this world than to have a baby. So of course I’m slightly envious, but not in a bad way. It’s just natural. Dom thinks we’re not ready… I am. I want a baby as soon as possible really. I hate the idea of leaving it too late. Or even not leaving it too late and being an old mom. Women only have a certain number of eggs, we’re not like men who are pretty much fertile until they’re dead! I’m 32 now.. rapidly approaching 33. Dom is still doing his PhD. Granted, it’s coming to an end, but then he wants a holiday and then he’ll have to get a job. Will we have to move? Who knows? When do we look into buying a house? All these things are factors. But, baby needs to be a factor somewhere too.

Rosie apologised to me sometime following the wedding that she didn’t warn me of the news before hand as she knows how triggering a pregnancy in the family can be for me (after the breakdown I had when I found out my other cousin Becky was pregnant – which was about two years ago now).

Total BPD reaction, to be so jealous that you can’t function. While at the same time knowing that they deserve all the happiness a child will bring to their family, and being happy for them. I’m trying so hard not to let it consume me this time. I’m trying to be happy with what I have right now. Dom sees my over the top emotional reactions and does not understand them. He thinks I’m being a baby. I really think he needs to research borderline personality disorder a bit more, because he just does not empathise with me when I need him to most.

He think’s I’m too immature and irresponsible right now. He want me to prove myself before we even think about it. He is a very pragmatic person. He has his routines that get him through, and that is that. I don’t have that. I try, but it does not come naturally to me. But spontaneous, idiosyncratic people can still be parents. I understand why he might want me to be stable for a prolonged period of time before we decide to procreate! I mean, that’s big! Bringing another life into the world. A little helpless slither of a human, to look after and mould into a functioning, well rounded person. We haven’t even had a pet!

Can’t do hangovers…

Not anymore…

So, last Friday morning I weighed myself (first thing), as I do. After a colossal loss of 6 lbs the first week, I had gained 1 lb… despite being ‘good’. You may think ‘not the end of the world’ which is exactly what I kept repeating to myself, but by the evening I was thinking ‘fuck it, I’ll have a night off!’ -so I allowed myself to have a few drinks.

Next day (Saturday) I just slept. The entire day was a write off. Being awake was physically painful. Then Sunday, I slept a lot more. I swear, this was a two day hangover! I hadn’t even drank that much on the Friday night! Moving my eyes felt like rubbing coarse sandpaper on my brain. I had big plans for a productive weekend, plus I wanted to hit the gym. I did literally nothing, for two days straight! What. A. Waste.

I really wasn’t used to feeling so crap. I couldn’t handle it. To think that not long ago (just before I started my new, improved healthy lifestyle) I was drinking daily… no wonder I was always depressed and grumpy. I probably felt like shit and didn’t realise it. I really thought differently about alcohol after that weekend of suffering. I kind of thought I don’t want alcohol in my life… at all, like ever again… possibly a bit drastic. But, that did cross my mind.

I’ve got a few social outings coming up. The next one is this Friday night. I’m meeting up with two old buddies of mine, ex colleagues from a job waaay back. It’s nice that we’re still in touch and catch up now and then. We planed this night out before pubs even re-opened! Booked tables and everything! I’m talking months in advance. Kinda thinking I can’t not drink… I don’t really want to, but it’s sort of expected of me… I’m sure they wouldn’t push drink on me, but they would try and tempt/sway my decision. “Go on, just have a few”… I can imagine them saying. Then ten pints down, I can hardly stand, slurring my words and picking fights with strangers… ugh.

I do have a plan.. I plan to drink beer, slowly, and break it up with pints of diet lemonade. Or I could have shandy I suppose (half beer half lemonade). I’m going to tell my mates I’m doing it for my mental health, and trust me, they know about my mental health, anyway, then they can’t tempt me! I mean, it is for my mental health! And my physical health, lol. I really don’t want to waste another weekend for the sake of a bit of beer.

Bored of ‘being good’…

I hit a bit of a bump in the road yesterday. It was really hard to get up, my body felt really heavy, I was lethargic and moody. I also had cravings for lots of carbs and beer. It was like my stomach was empty (it wasn’t), I had this void inside that needed filling and the only thing I could think to fill it with was food and beer, like an emotional hunger wanting me to break and comfort eat/binge drink. However, I stayed strong (just about) and resisted. It was a real struggle.

The novelty of ‘being good’ is wearing off now and I’m getting bored of being this sober, healthy, rule-abiding saint. My usual unhealthy coping mechanisms are screaming at me to just let go, eat what I want, get pissed and sleep all day… that would be the easy thing to do.

BUT! I’m not going to do that! I’m going to ride it out, fight the urges and battle though. I’m sure it’ll get easier again. Being healthy won’t always come easy. I know that some days I’m not going to want to go to the gym, or even get out of bed! It will take will power and determination.

I weighed myself this morning in the hope that I would see some weight loss results, but I have stayed the same weight. It is what it is, I guess. Just gotta keep plugging away. At least it wasn’t a gain! Goes to show, that heavy feeling yesterday was all in my head.

I’m planning on an evening session in the gym a bit later, after a zoom call with a few of my mates from the Uni days. Then I’ll cycle home and jump in the bath for a nice, long, relaxing soak. As you can probably tell, my mood has bounced back to positive today, feeling way better. What a difference a day makes!